Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I joined the IG world!

Hello all! Been awhile :)

So I joined the Instagram world and I LOVE IT! I had no idea I was missing such a cool social media platform. I ditched my personal Facebook about 2 months ago and I will never look back. It was constantly filling my little emotional head up with negative posts, full of hate and it was awful. Now that I'm on IG - all I see is beautiful, happy, traveling people! I see so much positive and happiness. In return, that makes my SOUL happy! Find me on IG, friends! @totschoolmama =)

P.S. I also added a "shop" page to the blog. It'll take you to my etsy shop for awesome homemade play things and gifts! If you have an etsy, please favorite whatever you like! If you have a shop, PLEASE leave it in the comments so I can check yours out! I love supporting small businesses!

  I've been trying to keep up with updating it. We do so many fun things in the tot school that it's hard to remember to document it all! The beginning of March was Dr. Suess week, celebrating "Reading Across America" and Dr. Suess's birthday that fell on March 2nd. We totally partied it up over here! Surprise you didn't hear us celebrating ;)

  For a snack activity, I took the older tots (2 and 3's) and gave them these awesome printables! get yours here! Then we took Goldfish snacks and tried to fill the fishbowls accordingly. I had one that was only concerned with how many she could get in her mouth to eat, but nonetheless a FUN activity! Even if it isn't Dr. Suess week!

Later in the week, I took big bowls of shaving cream and mixed it with fingerpaints. Then I drew funky tree stems and we painted fun Truffula Trees! NOTE: If you want to keep the artwork you make with this style puffy paint, add equal parts glue and shaving cream, mix until it peaks on its own when you bring the spoon up. The glue will harden with the shaving cream and it'll keep for a little bit on the artwork.

I also took a generic coloring page of a hot balloon and let them fingerpaint/freestyle paint on them. I cut them out and made "Oh, the places you'll go! artwork. 

Grab some blue paint and paint on hand, only the fingers (thumb included). On the other hand, paint red all over except for the middle finger. Stamp to make Thing 1 and Thing 2 :)

Here are some of our masterpieces from the week!

Again - sorry I'm so stinkin' late! It's a good post though so I can't forget it! 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

DIY Mud Kitchen!

I FINALLY got around to giving my boy a mud kitchen for those mud pies he is always making!

So my husband and I have had this scrap piece of counter floating around for forever. Seriously, forever. It was once used as a work table before he opened his actual shop business. Then, it was in our back yard but not in our son's back yard (we have a huge fenced in yard. We fenced off a smaller section for our son, because we have a dog that we never walk..and well, yeah..LOL!) and we used it right over the smaller fence for our green onions, basil, parsley, etc.

Well, of course we killed those all eventually. So the past few months, it's just been sitting there. The other day I was outside with the munchkins and I happened to look at it and immediately (after it being around THIS LONG!) thought ... omg! A mud kitchen! It's basically a piece of kitchen already. Goodness gracious, DUH!

We picked it up several years ago from our friends grandmothers house after they renovated her kitchen. Like I said, it served multiple purposes for us over the years. Now, we've passed it down to our dirty, muddy 3 year old. He LOVES it. It also serves as twice the fun for us since we have the child care. Straight muddy, mud pie making, dirt slingin' fun for 5 children. We also live in FL - we have already played in water twice this year and it's only the beginning of February. Looking like we will spend lots of time out here!

Here's a picture for inspiration. I didn't think to take a before and after, or even during but it's pretty simple and to the point. You could really make it out of anything! Pallets, scrap wood, old dressers.. Really. Anything.

Hey fellow people! So, I fell a little behind on my blog because I opened...*drumroll please* an ETSY SHOP!!!

Okay, I work with children 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. Yes, 60 hours a week I am labeled a munchkin wrangler! I change 25-40 diapers a day, feed different mouths 100 times a week and have small talk with parents 50 times a week during pick ups and drop offs. I get a LOT of interaction with the little people of our world! I also get a lot of interaction with the parents of the little people of the world.

There are so many types, techniques - methods, if you will - of learning and education. Two of my favorites are Montessori and Waldorf style teachings. Here's a little infographic I made to show the differences between the two.

I decided to take my love for crafting and mix them with my love for education and children. My etsy shop will continuously feature adorable additions to pretend play. I love to see when people "favorite" my items! I haven't received any shop favorites yet but I will be SOO excited when that day comes! I did make a sale back in June but I recently started to become serious with it. Check it out here! Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think if you do!

More blog posts to come. We are going to have a BLAST tomorrow and into next week for Valentines day! YAY!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Farm Week in Tot School! Yeehaw!

We are here in Florida just admiring this beautiful weather! We are finally hitting some lower temps here (high 50's, into the 60's) and if you are from anywhere in the hot, muggy south -- these temps are super COLD to us!

KHCC had a fun week last week discovering and learning about farms!

I used an awesome technique to whip up some colored rice to make the "hay" for the bin. (DIY colored rice) I just skipped the other colors and made one batch of yellow. I used our Fisher Price Little People barn and some cheap farm animals I picked up at the dollar store. It was actually really fun putting this together!

- I would suggest putting down a clear plastic tarp or shower curtain, something of the sorts to funnel it all back into the bin at the end of play time. I have been cleaning up rice that was scattered all over my dining room and kitchen for a week now, LOL! - 

Like I said - sooo much fun! I had two 1.5 year olds and a 2 year old playing in this for upwards of half an hour. That's a substantial amount of time given their ages. I only shut the shop down when I realized my kitchen and dining room tile had become re-grouted with rice, haha! 

I also found a free coloring page with a blank pig (found here. Thanks Google!). We painted all the pigs pink and then we painted "mud" on them to get them dirty! It was just a little bit of brown fingerpaint. I didn't supply too much so you could still tell what it was at the end ;) 

This was a great opportunity to ask some questions!

What color is the pig?
What color is the mud we're putting on the pig?
How many pigs are there?
What does a pig say?
How many ears does a pig have?
...feet? etc.

I have a great group of super inquisitive children so these questions are always great to ask! It gets their minds going. It's also great to just sit back and watch them work on their project without interfering or directing. I'm so envious of their creativity and innocent imagination! Kids are so awesome. 

While we were on the subject of mud and while my younger 1 year olds haven't quite let go of the 'hand to mouth' stage, (we do not eat paint! no no!) I had the idea of dropping small globs of brown paint on paper and letting the youngin's roll a truck back and forth on it. I'm not sure if it really ties in with the Farm theme but I called them tractor paintings, so whatever! It turned out really cute and they had fun with it. 

I am super stoked for the next couple of weeks! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years = sooooo many fun crafts! My son is almost 3, so anything hand print or foot print related, he LOVES! He even requests to paint his own hand so he can stamp it himself! You know - that impending toddler independence. Be on the lookout for these adorable craft posts!

Did you ever celebrate Farm Week? What did you do? Drop some ideas below to help future readers throw a great one for their kids!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My First Blog . . . Oh my Gosh!

Recently, a friend reached out to me and asked why I didn't blog. It initiated the turning of some gears in my head and I have finally decided to start! Here we go!

I will start by introducing myself! My name is Kristin. I'm a mother to a very wild *almost* 3 year old. I am engaged to the slightly less-wild man of my dreams! We've been together for almost 9 years now and have an awesome relationship/friendship with one another. He owns and operates a small business downtown doing ATV, boat, personal watercraft repair and maintenance. As for myself, I run a small home-based child care (hence the title of my blog!). We are a small family with big dreams and goals ahead! We are on an extraordinary journey in our lives and I am so excited to start sharing our adventures!

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you stay tuned for many more posts to come!